It’s Cody Johnson’s time.
After landing two releases in the Top 10 of Billboard’s country albums chart on his own CoJo label and selling 74,000 tickets for a single show, to earn recognition as the only unsigned artist in history to sell out NRG Stadium at RodeoHouston, one of Texas’ most-sought-after talents finally agreed to sign with a major label. Warner Music Nashville won a Music Row sweepstakes and enticed Johnson – who’d turned down several majors before – to join the team and take a shot at turning a concert success story into one with multimedia, national hit-making cred.
Johnson’s passionate, rowdy concerts have already drawn comparisons to Garth Brooks, and the music from his previous albums – inspired by ‘90s country foundations, but built for the 21st century – has made him a familiar presence on Texas and Oklahoma red-dirt radio.
Aaron Watson’s career is perhaps summed up best by Forbes, who says he’s “one of country music’s biggest DIY success stories.”
For the past 20 years, Watson has achieved success on his own terms, hand-building a lauded career through songwriting, relentless touring and more than a dozen self released albums. His independent Texas spirit and strong work ethic are emblematic of the western lifestyle; virtues which have taken him from humble honky-tonks of Texas to multiple sold-out tours around the world.
In 2019 he released Red Bandana — “his most ambitious album yet” (Taste of Country) —whose 20 songs were hailed by The Boot as “a pure expression of his traditional country ethos.”